EPHEMERA

A mobile documentary about OUR disappearing world

An intimate quest for the most evanescent things on Earth

Our world is changing fast and irreversibly. A big part of the things we can see, touch, smell and live today will have probably disappeared within the next thirty years. So, while turning 30, I decided to explore some of the rarest and most fragile places on Earth, before they vanish.
 I felt the urge to intimately experience mankind's relationship with the land and tell about it in a poetic form, using the tools I master. This was a life-changing experience but also an opportunity to testify the diversity of the world and produce long-lasting documents to be passed to posterity.
– Angelo

A mobile, social documentary

To spread a message today we need a format that can reach people where they spend most of their (digital) lives. 
To tell my stories I decided to use a new format designed with social media in mind, that takes advantage of their non-linear, multi-format and fragmented consumption. The challenge is to create short high-quality visual stories that can be both produced and consumed on mobile devices. 

With a
photographer's eye,
a designer's hand,
an Italian heart

I experienced my destinations with all the different sensibilities that are part of who I am and of what I do.
 Being a photographer and filmmaker allowed me to capture a situation with a sense of aesthetics and cinematics. Being a designer gave me an advantage for staying curious about a new situation and being empathetic with the people acting in it. A designer doesn't just want to understand why and how someone uses a tool but also comprehend how it's done and works. Finally, I’m an Italian and this makes me an extremely passionate, warmhearted and sociable person. 

Where
and why

Endangered landscapes

Most of the destinations I chose are places threatened by climate change. Stunning islands with pristine landscapes menaced by sea-level rise, huge ice mountains slowly melting down. This will not just change the face of the planet but also cause the migration and the disappearing of whole peoples and cultures. 

Fading cultures

The second criteria I used is cultural diversity. Some of the destinations are home to societies disrupted by socio-economical changes.
 I wanted to experience and capture the lives and traditions of peoples who are still preserving their traditional ways and customs in an increasingly globalised world, but are losing touch with newer generations. 
I’m not just talking about the last surviving tribes in Southern Africa but also about the communities of small villages in Southern Italy. 
300
Days
30
Destinations
1
Journey
The journey took place for ten consecutive months and touch almost thirty destinations around the globe, starting and finishing in Basilicata, my hometown. Follow the link to discover why they all matter.

Outcomes

Different kind of content were produced and collected during the trip. Some of them were published tight away on social media, others are featured on a digital exhibition on Google Arts & Culture, some will be published more traditional digital and physical media.

About me

I was born in 1986 in Episcopia, a tiny village in the Southern region of Basilicata. Since I was a child I showed curiosity and talent for creative and technological activities. No wonder then that my favourite objects were machines that could be used to represent, capture, enhance the world around me: cameras, sound gears and of course computers. So I left my village to study Design all around Europe. Today I'm based in Paris where I research the past and present of technology to design its future with innovative projects. I'm also a photographer and film-maker to observe and tell about the present. 

I am a

Designer
 For my 9th birthday my father offered me a PC. I immediately started using it as a creative tool and eventually ended up thinking about an advertising career. However I wanted to use my talent not just to sell things but to invent solutions that could improve lives.
 That's way I chose a Design career. Today I’m a senior designer and associate at nodesign.net, an award-winning design studio in Paris.
Film-maker
I felt in love with photography the day I found an old dusty reflex in my garage and started taking pictures with it. After graduating and moving to France I used my first pay-checks to buy a professional camera. I soon realised I needed to use it in a meaningful way. So I decided to tell about what I left back, Italy. Today I’m a photographer and film-maker for cantforget.it and co-author of italiasenzatempo.it , a project about Italian natural heritage.
Dronist
Seven years ago I started working on camera drones. It was for me a new magical encounter: a camera that could fly and shoot videos from a new point of view. However this time I didn’t just got to use it, but also to design how it works and more precisely how to make it follow you autonomously. But what's the point of having such capability when you spend most of my time at the office?  This time I needed to go further ! 

A film-making challenge

This project was also an opportunity to push the limits of mobile creativity, travel photography and film-making. Today most of travel documentary we see are from professional tv crews or at least a couple of travellers. In every case the post-production is done when the trip is over or on professional laptops. My goal was not only to shoot cinematic images while travelling alone using the most portable gears available, but also to edit content on the go using only mobile devices and powerful apps such as LumaFusion.

A design challenge

As a designer, I couldn't help but think as well about using this experience to explore possible solutions to help these fragile societies to take advantage of technology to improve their life and maybe save their future. 
This is a pretty sensible subject: you don’t want technology to be introduced in these cultures in an arrogant intrusive manner, but at the same time I’m sure that an enlightened and responsible use of modern tools could have a positive impact in every environment. 

Traveling alone

As a human, I felt the need to experience new situations and embrace greater cultural diversity in order to have a better awareness of the world. Traveling alone forced me to dive into a new situation without safety nets. 
Most importantly this will allow me to avoid the "Hawthorne effect", in which individuals modify their behavior in response to the fact of being observed.

Want to help?

Ephemera was born as an independent project. It was important to me to stay free of any editorial engagement that would come from a more traditional production.
Now that the journey is over, I'm looking for publishers and producers who are interested in producing a photographic book and/or a documentary film, both of which are still in the making.

Feel free to get in touch!
– Angelo
Press contact:  +33 (0) 6 66 25 64 86